3 S.R. Johannes: January 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Analyze Your Audience/ 09 is mine!

Update: My thought sgo out to the 2 Greenwich librarians killed on the way to airport from ALA. It reminds us that Life is so precious.

Day 2: Analyze your Audience

1) So you have identified your audiences (3-5).

2) Now you need to analyze your market. Where do they go? What do they do? What orgs? What Magazines? You can easily find all this on Google. For example for my knitting mystery for teens : I'd google knitting book organizations, knitting books, knitting teens, knitting stores, knitting magazines, teen knitting etc.

3) Create a spreadsheet for EACH Book and begin logging the information you find.

4) Create a worksheet in the Spreadsheet for each audience. Focus on 3-5 largest audience.

  • In each worksheet, you label the following columns: Name of Channel, Channel type, Contact Name, Contact Address, Contact Phone, Email, and Comments.
  • Example: Knitting Mystery
  • Name of Channel : Knitting R Us
  • Type of Channel: Magazine or Organization or Club or ezine
  • Contact Columns: Jane Smith; 1344 book Lane, 444-444-5555; jsmith@book.com
  • Comment: Joined 1/29

5) Join organizations ad contact people. Introduce yourself. Even if you don't have a book out or coming out. These connections can still be made.

Next Week:

  • Don't forget Monday - Jas Asher is our Magnificent Marketer.
  • I will continue the 30 days series next Tuesday.
  • And I have a Secret Guest On Wednesday.

09 is Mine!

So I am in the throws of subbing my Grace book right now.

2 years ago, my first book made 2 acquisitions meetings with publishers (*sigh), last year my nonfiction book made Acquisitions at American Girl (*sigh). I have never queried agents before.

This time, I decided to focus on getting an agent. And I have taken my time. I have made my short list of Dreamy agents based on their clients and likes and wants. I am only subbing to a handful of selected agents at a time. I am not doing the mass query thing.

Currently, I have a few fulls requested and out. Now? I am just waiting. So far, pretty much every agent I have queried has immediately requested a full. And that is a good sign. But the waiting game is tough. No matter how far you or where you are in the process, I am sure the waiting exists and is just as hard.

But for some reason, I feel like this is my year. I don't know why, I just feel an energy pulling me. Doesn't mean I dont have my down days (I am actually having one today :( b/c I do. I am a go-getter and I push myself hard. So to sit back and let go of control is hard for me. But this has been a good lesson. I am also used to things happening for me pretty quickly for me so putting in my dues and time with little in return is hard as well.

I've given up alot to be here and it has all been worth it. But doubt creeps in and rears its ugly head no matter what requests or feedback I get.

You see I had the chance to be a high - high- high level executive at an International Bank. But a few years ago, I left alot of money and alot of experience and walked away from my fast track in Corporate America to write. Of course, I have had 2 kids in the process so it has not gone as quickly as I had planned or hoped.

In the meantime, with my degrees and experience, I started my marketing biz on the side to help pay the bills. It allowed me to work from home, be with my kids, and control my own days of when to write and when to work.

My hubby has been so supportive and equally agreed to give up 50% of our income for me to follow my dream. And now I am so close. And what is interesting is that no matter how bad I want it for myself. I also want to do it for him so he knows we haven't struggled for nothing. He has given up so much for me to pursue my passion and his support and faith never waivers.

So now? I just wait... and hope....and believe....and write.

And more importantly, I start another book, a new series that I am very excited about.

I just hope that when my time does come, I find an agent and editor that I connect with, that believes in my story enough to take a leap of faith with me, that gets me and my character. That sees the uniqueness and timeliness of my subject matter. I dont just want anyone, I want "the one". And I know "the one" is different for everyone. And I will wait until it feels right.

Lindsey Leavitt gave me some good advice over coffee last fall and for some reason it stuck with me. She said, "I never knew who my dream agent was until I met her." That is so true. You pick people based on reputations and clients. But in the end it is the connection that matters. Their love for your story.

Now I finally am at a place where I can devote myself to my writing. My daughter starts K this summer, my son turns 2 in May, and my hubby has said "there will be no more".

I've cleared the path - 09 is mine.

Build Your Author Brand (Day 1) & Writing Lessons from The Office

Build Your Author Brand/Platform (Day 1)

OK I want everyone to go through this exercise with me for the next 30 days. Ill teach you how to start your marketing plan from scratch, aw well as some best practices for twitter, blogging, facebook and more.

This book is a great reference: Author's Guide to Building an Online Platform

Today is about creating a brand/platform for yourself. What is a platform?
The term author platform is popping up all over the place, but what exactly is an author platform? Essentially, your platform is based on your expertise. For nonfiction, this relates to the topic of your books. What about fiction authors? Your platform, obviously, should focus on your genre. It’s even better to focus on a smaller niche. For example, get known for knitting mysteries.

Your platform includes your Web presence, any public speaking you do, the classes you teach, the media contacts you have established, the articles you have published, and any other means. here are 8 things to think through when determining what your platform is.

1) What is your genre? Lets say you are writing a knitting mystery.
2) What experience/knowledge do you bring? (are you a knitter? Do you do arts and crafts? are you a fashion major? etc)
3) Write Down 3 different audiences that your book targets. (Knitters, Fashion, Mystery)
4) Write down 5 ways to reach those audiences. (groups, organizations, web sites, etc)
5) Find out who are the influencers in those groups (leaders, content experts) and introduce yourself. tell them what you are doing. (google google google)
6) Get involved in those organizations now (whether you are published or not). Become familiar with organizations related to your topic or genre. Join those that you feel can help move your career forward through education and/or association. Become known by participating.
7) Create a web site - this is one of the first things to do. Simple 5 pages. (Use a knitting motive)
8) Start building an email database/spreadsheet of critical contacts. (Be sure to keep track of contacts)

Come back tomorrow for Day 2 in our Marketing Journey!

The Office Lessons

After working an an executive at Bank of America, this show is quite funny to me. Sick but funny. Mostly because it is completely sarcastic humor which I am a sucker for.

I love the battle that goes on between Jim and Dwight. Steve Carrell is hilarious but Rainn Wilson cracks me up. And I swear I used to know people like him at work.

It’s silly and stupid, controlled yet edgy. Its totally inappropriate. But believe it or not there are people who actually say and think these things. Sometimes, its the only way to get people to pay attention that this behavior still exists. Even though it is disgusting, you have to laugh at the ignorance of some people in the world and work place. And sometimes, you just have to laugh at that especially when there is nothing else to do. Now I do not approve of any of the behavior but that is what makes it funny. Its exaggerated.

In this show, everyone in the office realizes they’re stuck with each other. And in a way, they love each other flaws and all. It doesn’t matter that their boss, Michael (Steve Carrell) is totally ridiculous. It doesn’t matter if they get insulted. It doesn't matter if they play pranks. In the end, it’s back to life and it's about the sum of parts. And that’s real.

As everything I participate in or watch, I am always thinking about my writing. This show does have its lessons for writers.

  • Characterization. Most of all, when I look at the writing, it is great. The characters thought greatly flawed are lovable.
  • Story. It tells a succinct story in 30 minutes yet does a great job of creating arching stories that link each episode.
  • Dialogue. It does not deliver one-liners. The dialogue is natural and funny. It flows and does not feel forced.
  • The scene. The desks, the offices. Their clothes. Next time look at the details. These details matter when I'm writing. The pictures on the desk. The stress balls. The environment gives you a sense of these people.
  • The nonverbals. The characters mannerisms, their looks. Those things are hard to capture in a book but it is doable. But they have to be natural.
A few Memorable Moments

Medical Form Scene

  • Dwight: Someone forged medical information, and that's a felony.
  • Jim: OK, Whoa, all right 'cause that's a pretty intense accusation. How do you know that they're fake?
  • Dwight: [reading from a sheet] Uh, Leprosy, Flesh Eating Bacteria, Hot Dog Fingers, Government Created Killer Nano Robot Infection.
Identity Theft

  • Jim Comes to work dressed as Dwight
  • Dwight: Imitation is a form of flattery
  • Jim pulls out a few items he took from Dwight
  • Dwight: You know Identity theft is not a joke Jim. Millions of people suffer from it every year.
Spud Gun

  • Dwight:I.D. badges are long overdue. Security in this office park is a joke. Last year, I came to work with my spud gun in a duffel bag. I sat at my desk all day, with a rifle that shoots potatoes at 60 pounds per square inch. Can you imagine if I was deranged?
Please - if you have not seen this show - watch this clip. It is hilarious and I bet most of you will be hooked. If you have, take a moment and enjoy this montage of funny moments to start out your day.

Update: I changed the clip - I swear you will laugh at loud at this. Come on you know you wanna try it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weird Wed - Am I on Candid Camera?

Marketing Muse: Starting 30 Days to Your Own Marketing

Everyday I will blog about how you can start a fabulous marketing campaign. Starting tomorrow, we will walk through identifying audiences, starting blogs, increasing traffic, essentials to web sites an more. Come back and join me for the next 30 days and take notes! Leave me a comment about your marketing questions and I will try to address them over the next 30 days!

Today's Tip: Wanna Tweet? Here is a list of people in the publishing business that are on Twitter if you decide to Tweet :)

Am I on Candid Camera?

For those that are too young to understand this, bear with me. There was a show when I was growing up (I won't say what year) that was very popular. Allen Hunt hosted it weekly and the show had concealed cameras that filmed regular peeps stuck in crazy situations. When the joke was revealed, Allen would say, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera." It was the Punked of the 70s-90s (Has anyone guessed my age yet?).

Here are all the reasons why I think Allen Hunt is my Guardian Angel:

1) I have to wear a neck brace for my inner ear infection. (Does this make sense to anyone else? Pulease?)

2) I have to take medication for my dizziness that has the side effect warning of.....you guessed it....Dizziness! (Hmmm which one should I choose?)

3) I trip over cracks that are not there? (And trust me, I've checked!)

4) I am the one in my family that pulls out the milk jug out of the fridge AFTER my daughter (Who DID NOT put the lid back on?)

5) I get to the end of the toilet paper roll when no one is home to help? (Luckily I keep a secret stash)

6)I pick up the check book with no checks on the only day I need it. (and on the same day I leave my debit card in my pocket at home)

7) When I am at Mexican Restaurants, the Mariachi band always pick me. (And it's always FELIZ NAVIDAD!)

8) Somehow the gas tank is on empty when I get in the car. (I am convinced my car has secret excursions at night)

9) I pull up to the gas station and am always on the wrong side. (You'd think I'd learn or does Allen change it? That is the question.)

10) At Einsteins Coffee House, the only delicioso fattening muffin left that I deserve and really really want and need is bought by the person in front of me. (Honestly, it ruins my day...*sigh*)

11) I only spill coffee on my shirt when I have a meeting to go to. (The days I am working from home, clean as a whistle)

12) I get the poopy diapers and my son only poops once a day! (I think my son and hubby have a pact.)

13)Something breaks (kid, dog, car or appliance) when my hubby is out of town.

14)The only day I finally follow my hubby's advice and lock the back door - is the day I lose my keys.

15) The day I drag down the trash to the street (my hubby usually does it), is the Garbage day off. (And I usually drop the bag or something gross I have to clean up.)

16) I step in the only piece of gum in the parking lot (please at least throw it in the grass!)

17) I get a big obvious zit right before some big event like a conference or something. (BTW - which in my 30s I should not get. Maybe I am channeling mY YA self.)

18) I say something dumb to someone important. (this happens way too often)

Oh and just so you know - these are the evil pranks my Guardian Angel Allen plays on me, I'm not this scattered! (Am I?) Or maybe I am just this uncool and trying to find some excuse!

I sympathize with these poor people....but I laugh at them too!

Ok This guy's face cracks me up!!!

I am surprised no one starting beating the poor thing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Marvelous Marketers - Martha Mihalick (Greenwillow Books)

Random Stuff

Yes I am leaving this up for one more day by popular demand :) But I wanted to pop in and say say how sad I am about John Updike's death. He was a great author. :( *sniff

Here are a few great marketing posts I wanted to give a shout out too.

Shrinking Violets posted an interview with publicist

Becca posted a publicity contract to look through. She's got a great book coming soon :)

Writers Digest posted Marketing essentials for unpublished authors!

Martha Interview

Hi Martha. Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with me today. As you know this blog focuses on educating authors on how to best market their books. But before we get into marketing, tell me a little about yourself.

Greenwillow Books is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. We were founded in 1974, and our talented, wonderful authors and artists include Kevin Henkes, Lynne Rae Perkins, Peter Sis, Chris Crutcher, Ian Schoenherr, Megan Whalen Turner, Carin Berger, Diana Wynne Jones and many many many more!

We publish books for children of every age, from picture books to novels. We aim to publish books that truly speak to children and teens, that they will keep coming back to again and again. I’m the Associate Editor and have been with Greenwillow for seven years.

Let's start with Greenwillow Books. Do you and/or your Greenwillow Books have a website/blog that you use for marketing?

Yes, HarperCollins has a very thorough website, which our online marketing department manages. There are several blogs popping up all over Harper Collins that have a lot of useful information in addition to several Facebook Fan pages.

Greenwillow also has its own Facebook Fan page which I manage myself.

And I have my own personal blog, A Curiosity Shop.

In your opinion , what are the top things every author should do and must do to promote their book?

I think the most vital thing is to have a website—one that you regularly update, so that it never seems stale. Kids, teens, parents, librarians, booksellers, teachers will all google favorite authors to find out more about them!

This is particularly critical for aspiring illustrators, in my opinion. Most of my artist-hunting happens online. And “website,” can also mean blog.

It’s important that an author or artist’s online presence is one that THEY are comfortable with. This may be a regular website that they update once a month or so with news, etc. Or it may be a blog they update every day or once a week, or what-have-you.

After that, reaching out to your community and contacts and being available for appearances is great.

In your opinion, how important is social networking?

I don’t think we’ve really seen yet how much social networking impacts sales directly.

That said, though, I think they can be useful for making people aware of your books and forming a network of support. However, you should never do anything that you aren’t comfortable with, though! Twitter might not be for you, but GoodReads might be. Every author needs to see which one seems natural and fun—and doesn’t take too much time and thought away from the writing!

Another thing to keep in mind is that blogging or being active on Facebook or Twitter puts you in the public eye. ANYONE can see what you write, so don’t forget that as you post—be aware that you are presenting yourself to potential readers, critics, editors, agents, and fellow writers.

How important is technology to an author’s marketing plan?

It’s important to understand technology, and my guess that technology will grow more and more important with time. But again, not everything is right for every book and every author.

Do you feel it is beneficial for authors to team up and promote books as a group? If so, why?

It can be! Shannon Hale (Author of Princess Academy) and Libba Bray (Author of Rebel Angels) had what seemed like a successful and fun tour together last fall. Not to be a broken record, but this is another area where it’s important to consider what’s right for the book and the author. You need pairing that make sense, and pulls audiences that will appreciate both books.

When evaluating whether to take on an author or book, do you ever Google them to see if they already have a web presence or platform?
ALWAYS! Whether or not they have a presence is not the deciding factor on a book or author. I decide whether or not I like a manuscript based on the manuscript itself.

But when I’m presenting a book for possible acquisition, I want to know as much about the author as I can. If they have a website or blog, then that’s another way to get to know him or her.

To finish up, I know every writer will want to know what do you, as an associate editor, look for in an author or book that you aquire?

I look for a voice that’s authentic to its age group, one that resonates. I look for a story that sticks with me, either because it makes me laugh, warms my heart, poses thought-provoking, haunting questions, or leaves me breathless. I look for characters who seem like real people to me—all of them, not just the protagonist. I look for a protagonist I think children or teens will identify with. I look for hook I know will get readers’ attention and good writing to support it. In an author, I look for someone who’s dedicated and passionate about his or her writing.

Before you leave, tell me what exciting books are you working on now at Greenwillow Books?

Well, all of our books are exciting! Every book we work on knocks our socks off, so we’re very lucky to be working with such talented creative people.

On the Greenwillow Books Summer 2009 list, I edited a fantastic, funny debut picture book called DO NOT BUILD A FRANKENSTEIN! by Neil Numberman. And a middle grade mystery that’s tons of fun called A RECIPE 4 ROBBERY by Marybeth Kelsey .

Greenwillow Books also has two amazing debut fantasies. RADIANT DARKNESS that retells the Persephone/Hades myth from Persephone’s perspective. And SILVER PHOENIX, an ancient-China inspired epic fantasy.

You’ll be able to see teasers and jackets on http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/ or on the Greenwillow fan page on Facebook.

Thank you Martha for joining us today and sharing some marketing insight.

Next week join us for advice from Best-selling author Jay Asher (13 Reasons Why)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shelli's Surprising Secrets

Marketing Tip: Check it out!
Check out this interview with Sara Dobie (PR Coordinator at Sylvan Publishing) on Sruble's world. She has some great advice about websites, blogs, and social networking.

Also - Dead Guy in the Room has a great post about One-on-One Marketing

Join me Monday for My Marvelous Marketer Interview with Martha Mihalick from Greenwillow! Jay Asher (Author of Thirteen Reasons Why) is scheduled for Monday, Feb 2nd.

Saturday Secrets
I am telling you these because when I am building a new character, I use traits about myself to add dimensions. I am creating a new character right now for my Bright Side book (see side for description) so this helps me as I write. Make a list of the little things about you that you might not share and make them part of your characters. It makes them real and lovable. You'd be surprised if you think for a while the things that you end up remembering.

Here are a few secrets about me (I mean...about my characters) that I'll let you in on....

1. I love rainbows (I think it started when Kermit the Frog and Ms Piggy sang about it)
2. I believe in fairies (what is even more strange, is I actually think I might be one. Is anyone scared yet?)
3. I have SCBWI NYC conference envy (I want to go!)
4. I think I am funny (not sure what others think)
5. I am grumpy for about 53 minutes every morning (the time it takes to wake up, make coffee, IV coffee, and process coffee.)
6. I am a great multi-tasker (You may not believe me but right now, I am juggling, dancing, meditating and writing all at the same time)
7. I think too much (I'm not sure why. I'll think about that and get back to you)
8. My feet grew 1/2 size when I got prego. (I think my butt did too but we won't go there.)
9. I used to sing in a Jazz band (I actually believe I would make it to Hollywood on American Idol if I was just a little...ok alot...younger :(
10. I love to wear flip flops, jeans, and cargo pants (Target loves me but I hear Stacy and Clinton calling)
11. My attention span is bipolar - either 10 minutes or 10 hours (wait, what was I saying?).
12. I am an introvert and have more blogger friends than life ones. (sad but true)
13. You would think I was anally organized (unless you looked in my drawers or closets).
14. I am afraid to die. (It kills me to say that)
15. I talk with my hands. (if waving my hands around constitutes talking.)
16. I just found out I have my first cavity in 20 years :( (Do i have to tell my 5 year old?)
17. I love watching the Oscars and the Red Carpet Review. (i mean I block out the whole day for it and the fashion review)
18. I have a love/hate relationship with my computer (and I refuse to buy one until I get an agent)
19. I hate conformity, materialism, and indifference.
20. I am happy when I help people accomplish things. (probably why I do this blog on marketing)
21. Last week I bought coffee for a bunch of street people. (and for some reason I'm the one that cried when I gave it to them)
22. I would die for my kids. (nothing funny about this one. I totally would.)
23. I hate cleaning toilets and sticking my hand in the garbage disposal. (oh hubbbbbbyyyyyyy!)
24. When something breaks, I call my hubby. (oh hhhhuuuuuubbbbbyyyyyy!)
25. When people cry around me, I cry too. (which isn't too bad unless it is a stranger, then its kinda weird)
26. I hate it when strange dogs lick me. (strange kids are even worse. :)
27. If I was a character in the movie/book The Compass, my animal spirit would be an owl. (I see them everywhere. That's weird right?)
28. I'm am not an outdoorsy girl. (I can be outdoors but I don't love it)
29. I have a vision board in my office (and yes, Oprah is on it)
30. I want to die my hair red. (Not that I die it now ;)
31. I tend to think the glass is half-empty. (Luckily my hubby keeps it full :)
32. I tend to cuss a shitload. (Damn there I go again.)
33. If my life was a movie - it would be a comedic musical. (Titles? Word Up or Write On)
34. I talk to myself (I even argue with myself. But don't worry though, I always win.)
35. I do not eat many fruit and veggies ( *sigh* - I need to work on that.)
36. I had 2 c-sections and they hurt! (I don't care what people say.)
37. I pout when I am sad. (and mad and frustrated and tired)
38. I believe in UFOs, horoscopes, wishing on a star, reincarnation, and Santa Claus. (Call me gullible but I may even believe in Big Foot?)
39. When I was 12, I got kicked out of Horse Camp for mooning a car. (Which I do NOT Recommend!)
40. I tell white lies. (But only if I have too - oops there I go again)
41. I have naturally curly hair which I love in the winter but hate in the summer. (I think I'll start a support group - Curly Hair's Anon.)
42. I wish I was a superhero. (Hawk girl would be so cool but "Fly on the wall" girl would be even better)
43. I am not patient and can have a temper (I call it my Bee-ach factor)
44. I have been diagnosed with ADHD (Its ok, it helps me be creative)
45. I have a black thumbs. (My condolences go out thousands of plants and their families)
46. I was a cheerleader and joined a sorority because other people told me too. (If you knew me, i think this would surprise you b/c I'm NOT the "perky" type. I refer to myself as a Positive Cynic.)
47. I love animals but not animal encounters. (Once I was almost licked to death by a giraffe and a buffalo - left me scarred for life.)
48. Sometimes, I dream about being published. (I mean in my dream. I am jumping up and down about a multi-book deal only to wake to a snoring agent and a 5 year old editor)
49. I have one (discreet) tattoo. (And sometimes I secretly get the urge to get another one.)
50.I make alot of useless lists.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Slew of Friday Fives - A 5 year old's Word to the Wise

First Things First

I want to thank WOOF for the Premio Dardos award. This award is given to acknowledge blogs that have cultural, ethical, literary and personal values. (Really? I do that?) The award honors favorite blogs for reaching out to readers of all generations who encourage self-awareness, good will, and literacy throughout the world. (Me?)

The rules are:1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog with a link to the grantee. 2) Pass the award to other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement and let them know they've been selected.

Marketing Tip: 5 ways to cause Blog Traffic Jams (BTW you want those!)
  1. Comment on other blogs. Yes, that goes for all you lurkers. We can't visit you if you don't tell us who you are! :)
  2. Create Blog rolls to your favorite blogs. Not only do people come to your blog to read about you, they can also use your bog as a resource "rest stop"
  3. Post frequently. Keep it fresh. Don't let people come several times without an update. They will get bored.
  4. Check your stats and see what is popular and where people come from. It helps you keep your blog topics on target with your readers.
  5. Be courteous and respectful. Remember this is not a diary - people will read it. Does not mean you can't be honest. But be aware of your wording.
Don't forget: My Marvelous Marketer for Monday is Martha Mihalick from Greenwillow!
A 5 year old's Word to the Wise. (yes she is 5 now *sigh*)
Words she's trying to use:
  1. Compromise (Mommy mommy, lets comprise. Ill have fruit And cookies)
  2. Consequence (So if I don't take a bath, will there be a consequence?)
  3. Distracting (Mommy! Gray is distract me! I cant think.)
  4. Disgusting (Blah, that's gigusting)
  5. Exhausted (It's been a long day. I'm just e-zausted)
Things she says that touch my heart:
  1. "Mommy, I wrote a book for you!" (music to my ears)
  2. "I hope you feel better. Can I get you some water?" (all at once now....aaahhhhhhhh!)
  3. "Can I sell cookies and give money to the firemen? Not all of it, but like...a dollar?"
  4. "When I go to sleep, I think of the beach."
  5. "How come I never see a rainbow? Am I not magic enough?"
Naughty words she's found a word for:
  1. Butt - bum bum
  2. sucks - stinks
  3. OMG - oh my giddy aunt (my hubby is British)
  4. Damn - Crumbs (again British)
  5. hate - don't like
Have a good weekend! ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sometimes, it's O.K to Mouth-Off!

First Thing First
Huge thanks to Elizabeth Bird at School Library Journal Fuse 8 for the special
"shout out" to my blog. :) Check out her blog for other book business recommendations.

Marketing Tip for the Day
Some of the best Internet marketers in the world are hosting a series of free teleconferences where you can learn a ton of great tips for marketing your books via the Internet.
Upcoming: Wednesday evening: John Di Lemme; Thursday evening: Bob Burg
More speakers next week as well.
You can find out about the entire free teleconference series by visiting:

Mouth-Off! Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM)
Word-of-mouth marketing spreads from one person to another outside of a formalized setting, without push from any advertisers.

A recommendation from someone familiar and trust-worthy is the easiest path to a sale, link or new subscriber. Why? Because recommendations are generally perceived as incentive-free, there is no obvious motivation.

Here are a few Easy WOMM strategies from Marketing Profs:

1.Target Talkers. Focus on Industry Influencers. I said target not stalk. You want to really build a relationship with them with the hopes of marketing through their existing sphere of social influence. Examples of influencers include celebrities, power users on social websites like Digg and popular webmasters or bloggers with many loyal supporters. I am a true believer that when you build relationships, it begins on "what YOU can do for them" not "what can you do for me" attitude.

2. Topic. Find discuss topics that are interesting to your talkers. Think about ways to create a positive response by enhancing your audiences experience in unexpected ways. Make your readers feel like an insider to an unique situation that encourages them to share or recommend your book. This could be to get them talking about special offers, freebies, information.

3. Tools/Technology - Use social networks to spread the word . This can be existing networks you already have (alumni, sorority, clubs or organizations) or joining large online communities. The existing ones you are already a part of are a quick hit. There is already a connection. Joining new ones takes a while to build so its not something that is as easy.

4. Take Part - Join in on message board or blog conversations. Again, contribute to discussions because you want to and because you care. Don't just contribute to use the board for advertising. It will have a negative effect. Also be sure to respond to phone calls, emails and comments on your blog.

5. Track - Keep up to date on what works for you and what doesn't. You only have time to focus on a few great things so don't waste your time with the things that don't work for you. Let them go and move on to something that does work.

  • More often than not, you will need to kick start some promotional method to initialize word of mouth buzz.
  • WOMM can include written testimonials, reviews, resource links, asked for expert advice

  • Focus on producing an excellent product -this will greatly facilitate the word-of-mouth process.

  • Honest word of mouth marketers live by earning the respect of their customers

  • Talk powerfully and naturally about what you do

  • Appreciate and acknowledge those who talk about you.

  • Treat everyone with respect.

  • Anything that breaks trust will backfire.

  • Negative word-of-mouth especially on you as a professional or as an author can hurt just as much as positive word of mouth can help.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Singing my own Song of Hope

I was touched today by the inauguration, as many people around the world were.

But what I loved most was knowing during Obama's inauguration speech that millions of people around the world were watching and hoping at the same time I was.

I know tough times are ahead but I am so full of hope about the future and the possibility is enough to carry me through those tough times.

Surprisingly, besides the millions of people and hoop-la-la, it was the little things that touched me the most:

  • The two of them dancing at the first ball
  • Jo Biden taking a picture for Sasha
  • Obama trying to help the Chief Justice get the words right
  • Mohammed Ali's face
  • Reverend Lowrey's - "...we ask you to help us pray for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead man, and when white will embrace what is right."
  • Aretha Franklin's fanciness
  • Ted Kennedy's smile
  • Michelle tucking a blanket around Malia
  • Poet Elizabeth Alexander: "In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made. Any sentence begun, on the brink, on the brim, on the cusp. Praise song for walking forward in that light."
  • Obama's grace to Bush
  • Jill Biden's fancy black boots
  • The car or tank Obama rides in that he calls The Beast
  • The girls wearing JCrew
  • Obama trying to look excited at his new crystal dish
  • The people running down the sidewalk along side Obama's motorcade
  • Obama saying "his wife is good-lookin'
  • Sasha's thumbs up before Obama takes oath
  • Obama's smile (this is why my daughter says she likes Obama)
  • The children crying in the audience

Obama is like no one else and sings a song of hope. (Robbie Seay Band)

All things bright and beautiful You are

All things wise and wonderful You are

In my darkest night, You brighten up the skies

A song will rise

I will sing a song of hope

Sing along

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday's Marvelous Marketer - Lisa Schroeder

Marketing interview with Lisa Schroeder
Hi. Lisa Thank you for joining us and welcome to Market My Words. You are our first author. Before we get into marketing, tell us a little about yourself.

I'm an author with two young adult books out now, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and my newest novel, FAR FROM YOU. I'm currently working on a third one that's under contract as well as revising a mid-grade novel I recently sold.

Along with writing, I also work a day job at a hospital, plus I'm a wife, a mother, and the official dog-walker of the family.

It's amazing to me how people have full family and work lives yet still find time for writing. I can't wait to hear how you find more time to market your books. I notice you have a website as well as a well-followed blog, when did you start those channels and do you manage them?

My web site is http://www.lisaschroederbooks.com/. I've had a web site for four years or so now, with the current one in place for two years. My web designer, Barb Jaleroro, manages it for me. I pay her a yearly maintenance fee and then I just send her updates every month of things to add or change. I'll have three new books coming out next year, all different age groups, so in the fall, I'll probably be redoing the site with different aged readers in mind.

Looks like you started your blog before you got an agent or published? why and how did it help you?
At the time, I started the blog because I could see that LiveJournal was a great place to connect with other writers. I had recently dropped out of a formal critique group and was lonely. And by that I mean, I mostly wanted to chit chat about the publishing world and the ups and downs of being an author.

I have met so many great people and made friends because of blogging. I mean, I really do consider them my friends. I've been fortunate to meet some of them in real life, and it's so great. Being around other authors inspires me. Seeing other people work hard at their craft, it makes me want to work hard too. So yeah, it's helped me in a lot of ways, really.

How do you use your blog and web site for marketing?

It's never been about "promotion" for me there. Sure, I talk about my books, but I talk about other things too. Now, with two books out and more on the way, I do link to my blog from my website, so if "fans" want to follow my blog, they can. If I think too much about how I should use my blog for promotional purposes, I kind of freeze up and don't know what to say.

My web site is the place where readers can go to find out what books are out, what books are coming out, see all the covers, read the blurbs, that kind of thing. With three new books coming out in 2010, all for different ages, I'm going to have my designer revamp it this summer. It's also the place where people can go to find out about school visits or other author visits, and information about me as an author. My favorite part of my web site, though, is the Contact Me page. I've received so many great letters from teens over the past year, letting me know how much they liked my book(s). That alone makes the web site worth the cost and the time to maintain it!

I've notice from your blog, you have done other promotional items like postcards, school visits, speaking engagements etc? How did you know where to begin? how did you find the contacts? And, how did you find the time?
I wanted some postcards to send out when I wanted to announce an event, or to just have in my purse to hand people if it came up that I was an author. I also had bookmarks made, and I make sure any time I do a mailing for a contest or any correspondence that's book related that I put some bookmarks in there. My hope is that people will pass them out to other people if they get more than they really need.

As far as school visits and speaking engagements, I have done one visit with a school, for an 8th grade writing retreat, and that came about because someone I know referred my name on to the teacher, and the teacher contacted me. That's why it's so important, as hard as it is sometimes, to make sure you let people know what you do! I had my boss send out a link to everyone in our department when there was a newspaper article done about me and my debut novel last year. I wanted people to know. And that e-mail resulted in a lady forwarding my name on to a teacher, because she knew they were doing this writing retreat.

As far as other speaking engagements, I did some presentations with members of the Class of 2k8, at a booksellers convention and a librarians conference. It's important to find out dates for those kind of events far in advance, and then find out when proposals for presentations are due and submit something! I think anything like that is VERY beneficial, and I hope some of my classmates and I stay in touch so we can continue to work together to do that kind of thing.

It's good to always update web sites and blogs. In addition in your opinion, how important is social networking? Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, GoodReads etc.

Yes, an on-line presence is really important, especially for young adult authors because teens are so plugged in these days. I understand that not everyone has the time to do everything. So, I suggest picking one or two places you feel comfortable with, and be consistent with them.

A year ago, I would have said MySpace is an excellent place to be as a young adult author, and a great place to find teens and libraries and book stores. It feels differently to me today, like Facebook is the place to be. But I find it harder on Facebook to connect with people I don't know and get the word out about my books. On MySpace, I had no problems sending friend requests to teens I found on other author's pages and suggesting we be friends because we seem to like the same kind of books. But Facebook is more personal, and I think why people like it more, so I don't seek out people like I did on MySpace.

I suppose, however, the most important thing is to be there, so if people are looking for you, they can find you.

Goodreads is a great place to connect with people who like to read, but you have to be okay with reading bad reviews about your books, because you will get them.

In addition to social networking online, how do you feel about teaming up with other authors to cross-promote books as a group?

I feel it's very beneficial if a few authors come together and each use their talents and their networking ability to take the group further than you could have taken yourself on your own.
I was a member of the class of 2k8 and it was extremely valuable because we teamed up to get a lot of stuff accomplished. There was a group of people who designed a book discussion guide for all of us to fill out. There was another group that got us all organized for our book trailers, and sent us the necessary materials for that. There was a group that managed the blog, so we'd have fresh, exciting content every week. And much more! The group got noticed in a way that I wouldn't have on my own.

What other creative things have you done to promote a book?
To celebrate the release of FAR FROM YOU, I asked two teen bloggers to help me with a contest. I wanted to do something really fun, so we all did a vlog and read from the book. The two teens were so eager to help when I asked them. And the videos, oh my gosh, they went way above and beyond and said such kind, wonderful things about the book, which I didn't ask them to do. When I asked them to help me a record a video, I specifically said all they had to do was read from the book, which saved them in case they read the book and decided they didn't like it that much and didn't really want to promote it. Fortunately, they did like it and were happy to share their feelings with their blog readers. There is a great community of teens out there reviewing books and reading books and telling each other about books. I just adore them.

What other advice do you have for authors/writers regarding marketing?

My first piece of advice is to not worry TOO much about marketing. You could spend all day and all night doing marketing stuff and still have more you could do. So, I say pick a few things you enjoy and that you're good at, and don't feel bad that you aren't doing more. The thing about books for kids and teens is that there isn't that sink or swim thing in the first month like there is in the adult market. Good books get passed from teen to teen, teacher to teen, librarian to teen, and so on, and that can take some time. Focus on writing great books that are going to touch people in a special way, because that's what gets people talking. And nothing sells books like word of mouth sells books!
Thank you Lisa. I appreciate you stopping by. Good luck on your new book and those to come!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Grace, Thanks for the Good times

Marketing ReMinder:

Don't forget tomorrow marks the first interview in the Marvelous Marketer feature for Mondays.

Lisa Schroeder - author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me is up first.

See you then!

Dear Grace

Dear Grace,

We have been together almost 2 years now and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We have captured your story and I hope to share it with the world soon. On this long journey together we have shared tears, laughter, frustration, fear, worry, and secrets. You have made me a better writer and I appreciate everything you have given me. You will forever and always be a great friend.

Now that I am sending you out into the world, I must get a little space. This does not mean we cannot be friends or hang out. I just need to take a little time away so that I may recoop and regroup for our next adventure together. In the meantime, I have to help another friend, Gabriella (Gabby) and tell a different story.

Without you, I would never be where I am today. I would never have learned to love flyfishing, about the true beauty of the North Carolina Mountains, the history of Cherokee Indians, nor the true of pain of losing a family member. Throughout the process, you have never wavered in your strength, humor, trust, loyalty and grace :).

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you again soon
Love Shelli.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pass it On - tagged and awarded

Marketing Tip-Blogcasting
Try blogcasting - You can go to Blog Talk Radio and start your own radio show! Just sign up and dial in…the site does the rest. No special speakers, microphones or software needed. All you need of course is your cell phone.

Pass it On

I got tagged

The rules are as follows: link to the person who gave you the award; write down six things that make you happy; post the rules; tag six others and let them know you have done it; tell the person who tagged you when your entry is up.

First - I was tagged by Chandler Craig last week. So I owe her. Here goes:

1) My kids. Kinda cliched and on some days - I might cross them off this list :) But they make me smile and make me light. I tend to get intense so they lighten me up. My little girl because she makes me enjoy little things. She says she wants to be a bug scientist (my hubby trys to get her to say Entomologist. She makes me stop to study ants , ladybugs, earthworms, cicadas, spiders you name it (BTW I hate bugs). My little boy because he just makes me laugh. He is the silliest little guy. Typical Taurus - loves to be on stage and entertain. They both make me want to be a better person and Mom. I love my kids. Kinda wish I could have more but I've been cut-off. (Wait, can hubby's do that? Mine did :)

2) Writing - Well I have to say this one right? Especially if a potential agent or editor are lurking. Seriously, if someone told me today that I would NEVER get published, I would still write my heart out. (I'd just be pissy doing it :). My brain is way to intense to keep all my crazy thoughts jammed in there. An ex-boy used to say my brain scared him. He said it was like the Grand Canyon. (Stay with me) Beautiful, deep, scary and a mystery all at the same time. Something you want to look at it but while you standing on the edge - you are afraid you will fall in. Ha I used to think that was hilarious :) Writing is like cleaning out my closet. You always find something new, unexpected, scary, gross, and amazing. I love it and even when I say I'm taking a day off - I still find myself blogging or writing notes about my writing.

3) Breathing (this is an important one). I've learned to appreciate my body after this ear thing. I don't take care of it enough. Something I am trying to be better about. When you see how intricate everything is and how it all runs together, it makes you think before you put cheese dip or MMs in your mouth. (oops). Yoga here i come!

4) Getting a mani/pedi done! This just makes me feel like myself again. After doing the mommy thing all week, trying to get in some work, take care of house and bills. To get my cheap little mani/pedi for 30$ at Angel Nails makes me smile.

5) My bed and pillows - I love to sleep. Hate to wake up. I don't mind BEING awake, I just hate WAKING up. My mind is creative even when I am sleeping. I have some crazy dreams - sometimes I even figure out plots in my dream. (Sad huh?) BTW, did you know if we don't sleep, we can go crazy! It hormonally changes your emotions. Here's an interesting article

6) So many thing make me happy. I'll add in peace, puppies, flowers, kids, hubby, butterflies, owls, stars, cardinals, the moon, fairies, my dog(s), my family, friends, being silly, skipping. Just to name a few more.

I'm tagging:

Holly Cupala - Brimstone soup
Robin Mellom (one of the Disco Mermaids - check out her new blog!)
Lisa Nowak (the Tao of Webfoot
Corey Schwartz - Thing 1 and Thing 2
Kate and Sarah Francis - PlotThis
Jill Wheeler

Fabulous Blog AWard

Blog Award

Lindsey Leavitt awarded me a Blog Award yesterday.
Here are the rules to receiving this award:You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous bloggers in a post.You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

1) Cheese Dip & Peanut MMs - Is this 1 or 2? Any cheese dip really. But my favorite is Las Paz 6-cheese dip (My sincere condolences to those of you who don't have one in your town. The chocolate (Peanut MMs) are a must-have when writing intense scene. Sincere apologies to my body. It's my only vice!

2) Writing with coffee- Is this 1 or 2? (I'd be weird if I didn't say writing right?) Let me be more specific drinking Harrod's Christmas Coffee with hazelnut cream. OR should I say cream with a little coffee). Unfortunately I only get Harrod's from my hubby's parents when they ship it from the UK at Christmas. :( So Harrod's if you by chance are an avid reader, plug plug, got any samples you'd like to send?

3) My Target Shoe/Slippers. Suede slippers you can wear as shoes that are lined with something soft. Oh yeah they still look like slippers but they have tread. Comfy for running kids to school, getting gas, being in backyard, waking up in morning, walking on hard wood floors (socks are too slippery). Also cool b/c they LOOK like Ughs but are only 19.99$. I actually have a pink pair of Ughs but they are not as comfy - go figure. Gotta go - I hear "what not to wear" calling. Heck - Ill take the 5 grand any day. (but do I have to give up my slippers?

4) My hubby's white Hanes t-shirts - I love to sleep in these (Sorry honey). I mean if Victoria secret would make a sexy top and bottom using Hanes cotton. I'd be all on it!!! Until then, its the T. Not only is the cotton softer than others, it's the perfect thickness. Not to shear but not too heavy. My hubby has broken them in perfectly. Plus they kinda smell like him :) Hanes is you are listening - Ill take a lifetime supply.

5) Hubby's Crinkles. Don't know why but I love the crinkles around my hubby's eyes. Maybe because I know they have a story. He is a happy person - me? I kinda swing from happy to sad to frustrated to quiet to intense and back again - all within about a minute. He is usually just happy. Positive. His laugh lines are always there. And I love them :)
So here are 5 my awards: (I dont know if they will have time to respond though, they may be blogging :)
Shrinking Violet Promotions

ahhhh a glimpse into my terrifying brain :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Somebody Stop Me, I'm Smokin' :)

5 Marketing Tips For Bloggers

  1. Post regularly. If it’s a news oriented blog, 3-5 times per day. If it’s an authoritative blog, 3-5 times per week, but each post must be unique and high value.
  2. Use social networking services, forums and discussion threads to connect with other bloggers. If they like your stuff, they will link to you.
  3. Request feedback or reviews of your blog in relevant forums, discussion threads. If you have a resourceful post that will help others, point to it.
  4. Build out your online networks through services such as MyBlogLog, Twitter and Facebook and leverage them to promote particularly useful content on your blog.
  5. Always respond to comments on your blog and when you detect a mention of your blog on another blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post.

Somebody Stop Me, I'm Smokin' :)

  • Please come see my interview over at Chandler Craig fabulous blog, Fumbling with Fiction.

  • Also I got my first blog award from the wonderful Lindsey Leavitt at I Blog Therefore I Am.
(sniff sniff)

So since I definitely I am not up for an Oscar this year, here I go....

I'd think to thank Lindsey for the award and let her know that if I had not met her and hung out this past Oct - I may not have pushed forward with my writing. She inspired me to get back on my blog and have hope that moms like me can be published authors. Thanks Lindsey, this story is really true - I am not just saying it because you gave me an award (BTW - you owe me some change on that bribe - I mean donation - I sent you. :)

I'd like to thank the 3 people who follow me :) Or at least admit to. Sometimes it's hard admitting to total insanity but you 3 people aren't afraid to stick your necks out for what you believe in. This award is for you (Oh sorry - you cant have it - but you can admire it :) If others are thinking of joining, I'll try and tap into your ego...your competitive nature...and say something I know most of you cannot refuse. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU! (can you see why I write for kids - oi!)

Id like to thank my first boyfriend for making me so crazy and codependent (we'll call him anonymous but he knows who he is....My IP address #%&$*^$#% ) . If it was not for him, I wouldn't have quit my first job making 25,000 a year, left Atlanta, moved to Auburn and pay 20,000 a year for out of state tuition to study MARKETING. Without your spell, I would not have had to knowledge to start this blog.

Id like to thank my hubby and my mom for being my first readers in the beginning and for the countless other things you do for me on a daily basis. (fist bumps to you! and a woot woot!)

I'd like to thank all 1,000 visitors I've had just since Nov. I would list all your IP addresses (since that is how I know - "oh its IPXXXXX from UK again! great!" I am sure you found me by accident but at least 1/2 of you come back regularly :) If you told me who you were - I'd visit you too but I can't so I won't. *SIGH* (unless you add a comment and stop lurking/blog stalking me ;)

I'd like to thank Brad Pitt for....oh sorry Brad, I forgot I promised not to tell anyone about THAT night - my apologies. (Hey do any of you think this will drive up my blog hits from Google?. He is most Googled person right now. Hmmmm I'll let you know if it worked.)

I'd like to thank in advance all the fabulous agents, authors, editors that have been gracious enough to do my new marketing interviews. I have had a great response and am already booked through Spring. I may have to start it 2 times a week - Somebody Stop Me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with a peon like me :) (and I am not brown-nosing....OK I am but I'm sure you all know you are too fabulous to need it - oops there I go again)

I would like to thank Jessica DeHart (and my critique group) for always helping me believe in my passion and future as a writer. Without her, I may not be still pushing forward through this very difficult, ego-busting, tearful, hopeful, joyous, frustrating, passionate, friend-making, and rewarding process called Writing. She also has a great heart so here's a plug for her charity work, A Brilliant Life - check it out. She is always looking for donations :)

So if I had a theme song for the day or my life was a musical.....this would be my song. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wierd Wed - I've lost my marbles & I'm off my rocker?

Marketing: The Five senses
  1. Hear - Use podcasts, book trailers, songs on your web sites, playlists

  2. Sight - use appealing colors, brand your materials, be visible, use different channels

  3. Touch - high quality products, professional papers, give them something to take away

  4. Taste - Offer chocolate at signings, etc. (Don't scoff - people always go for this one)

  5. Smell - Ok so 4 out of 5 ain't bad. :) Unless you can offer some type of scratch and sniff or aromatic candle.

I've lost my marbles & I'm off my rocker?
For those of you - in addition to my hubby - who have suffered through my complains of a long-standing ear infection.

This blog's is for you. But before you exit out of the blog assuming it is boring - trust me this is interesting.

And just think, today - you'll be able to say "learn something new every day".

After months of ear infections and dizziness/vertigo, I finally went to see an ENT.

Evidently I have a vestibular disorder (which never sounds good) which means my vestibular system is lazy/weak. (which also doesn't sound good)

BTW - try saying vestibular disorder 5 x.

WTF is a vestibular disorder you say?

Let me clear it up for you.

It's when calcium particles called otoliths (or otoconia) become inappropriately displaced into the semicircular canals of the labyrinth of the inner ear causing dizziness, vertigo, and insanity.

Still confused? Me too.

Maybe this will help.

The otoliths become displaced by AGING, (check! how depressing) infection (check), head trauma (from slamming my head against the wall) or labyrinthine disease (3 for 4 ain't bad). and then become free-floating within the inner ear.

Changing the position of the head causes the otoliths to move, which in turn causes the endolymph to stimulate the hair cells (Don't ask) , causing vertigo.

Any movement which involves changing the position of the head including getting out of bed or rolling can aggravate this condition. (Which means EVERYTHING! Think how much you move your head!)

Say what? Translation please ?
I just think it is a nice way of saying I have lost my marbles or am off my rocker. Also means I feel drunk all the time. Now, if it was just for a day, I'd get you to give me a woot woot! But this is most of the time, I'm now over it and long from craving my favorite dirty martinis.

So what now?
That's right physical therapy. (you mean there are no drugs?)

So for 200$ a pop! - I have to go through tilting exercises to shift the otoconia back into position.
You know those little games you play where you try to get the little annoying rolling ball back in the little tiny hole by tilting it (throwing it/stomping on it/beating it/breaking it) around.

That's it.

BTW - I hated those! Now I live as one - I realize it's a skill I should have mastered. Ironic huh?

It also means, I have to write post this while hanging upside. (No, just kidding :)

What has this taught me?
It is amazing how connected everything is in our body. Our ears connect to our stomach, eyes and ankles (again don't ask). The messages from the vestibular systems feed by vestibular nerves into the vestibular centers (nuclei) in the brainstem. These centers also receive input from the eyes, muscles, spinal cord, and joints.

I also take my body for granted.

Did you know?
  • Your ear is (somehow) connected to your eyes and stomach. That's why when you have an ear infection you see weird spots and get nauseated easily.

  • The smallest is the stirrup bone in the ear which can measure 1/10 of an inch.

  • The antennae of the Butterfly are supposed to act as hearing organs.

  • Clams hear with their feet.

  • Bees do not have ears.

  • Some scientist believe human ears evolved from fish gills.

  • Mammals are the only animals with external ears (flaps on the outside).

  • A giraffe can clean its ears with its 50cm (20 in) tongue.
So what does this mean?
  • I'm fine. I will get better.

  • Things could be much worse.

  • And I've stopped drinking.

  • I don't have to work out.

  • If I get pulled over and suspicious of a DUI - I will fail the walk in a straight line test.

  • I have a reason to ignore my hubby:) Though miraculously, I can still hear my kids fighting (yes they do that even at 5 and 18months ugh)

  • I cannot be a type-rope walker.

  • Dancing is out of the question.
But you know what - if I lay down with my head at a 33.33% angle - I can still write - so things could be worse! Right?

Looking deeper

For those who know me, you could probably guess that this amount of information is not enough for me. I - of course - always look for a deeper meaning and universal sign from the Big Boss. I believe our bodies talk to us and give us messages especially when things are out of balance. (No pun intended!)
So it makes sense because I am in my head waaaaay too much.
So I found this online: Those who have sensitive inner ears (Wait, does that mean lazy?) , have an interior perception of truth as if it were told to them; and they speak and write it obediently, delighting in it, and perceiving that it is true because it agrees with their interior life.

Learn something new everyday. Just think - I may have raised your IQ a couple points.

Thanks for listening! (Pun intended!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Marketing Monday Mayhem (Schedule change)

Marketing Monday: Secret Revealed!

Sorry for the late post. I am slammed at work but wanted to get this up. For those emailing me! :)

Starting in Feb 2009, I WILL be conducting marketing interviews with experts in the industry and posting them to my blog. Not only will I interview authors/illustrators to discuss what marketing they do for their books, I will also be interviewing agents and editors to discuss what marketing they think is critical and what they expect from authors/writers before and after they are published.

I am excited to announce the upcoming schedule for Monday's Marketing Muses.

Jan 2009

Upcoming Interviews:

And more...

Exciting huh?

Starting in Feb, the regular Marketing Monday features will move to another day.

Two Whole Marketing Days? Somebody Stop me! :)

More to come

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm A Sucker for Trash TV...oops...I mean Market Research!

My Marketing Secret:
This Monday for Marketing Monday - I will announce a new feature that I am adding to my blog. It is very exciting and I think you all will love it! Hint: It has to do with marketing :) Come back and see what is in store for 2009.

Totally Trashy TV (photo: from a sticker from wackypackages.com)

Before anyone says it - I will. I should be writing instead of watching trash TV. It is my vice. But isn't Tivo grand! :)

And, for the record, I watch Anderson Cooper every night (and NOT just for the news :)

What do I get from Trash TV? Characters.

Lots of funny characters.

Some hilarious dialogue.

And market research (Hey it's trashy, but all the kids are watching it!)

1) The Man- I watched Jason gets his little heart broken in the last Bachelorette season. I am glad he is the one back. Though I liked Jeremy too. Here are my picks for the top 4: Nikki, Lauren, Naomi, and Melissa. Though I hear Deanna is coming back! I'm a sucker for love. Fake, shallow love.

2) Wipeout in 22days!- So those of you who have followed me for a while probably know I am a huge Wipeout fan. It is my favorite reality show ever. I laugh so hard when this show is on. I'm talking the long, can't breath, belly laughs, the kind you used to have in school with your BFFs. I love them and they are hard to come by - unless you watch this show.

3) Feel the Fear! I watched this show out of curiosity. It was kinda scary. 13 kids dumped in a creepy cottage in the middle of nowhere. At the end, they do challenges to see who gets killed off? This week, 2 girls had to be buried alive and then escape. I would freak out! I cannot stand close spaces. Silver Lining, this is great research for my thriller series. It is interesting to see how differently people react when they are scared.

4) Beauty is as Beauty Does - True Beauty is the show. But it is as much about ugliness as beauty. 1) Do people like this really exist? I'm afraid so. 2) 1) these people aren't THAT beautiful. I was expecting Heidi Klum pretty. 3) Did you know there is a scientific equation for beauty. No really - there is? And it's called "MBA" Is that just to make the pretty people feel smart? So I can say - I hve an MBA (which I do) and people will think I passed the beauty test? Cool. I can honestly say that this is one test I will never take or pass.

5) American Idol kickoff. This week. Jan 13th. It's back on! I love seeing nobodies make it big. It's something I hope to do someday with my writing. Can't there be an American Idol for writers - I guess that would be boring. Watching us write all day. Not very glam either. You should see me right now - condolences to my hubby. I don't know about you but I loved Chris Daughtry and David Cook. And I admit - Jordan Sparks has turned out some cool hits, especially with Chris Brown. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood turned out some pretty cool stuff too.

Again, all in the name of market research! :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Five - My Heartfelt Sympathy To the Broken-Hearted

Marketing Tip: It's Time to Get Known!

Check out Lisa Nowak's blog where she reviewed a book I recommend released in November. Get Known before the Book Deal by Christina Katz (Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids). Becoming visible is more crucial to landing a book deal than ever, according to agents and editors in every facet of the publishing industry. From developing a readership, to increasing the odds of a book deal, to having a greater impact on book sales, this book is every aspiring writer's guide to success in the world of publishing.

My Heartfelt Sympathy
A lot of sadness has happened this week and I felt the need to publicize my condolences.

1) My old friend and boss, Scott Guilfoyle. Scott's 22 year old son, Jay, was murdered Sunday night by a friend he was fighting with. Scott - I am so sorry. My heart bleeds for you.

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.

2) A fellow Mom and neighborhood friend. A few days after having a baby, my friend Carey Kauffman's lost her baby due to organ complications. Her pregnancy and screening tests were all normal and she was totally unaware of any issues.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

3) John Travolta's son. John's 16 year old son died from a fatal seizure. Evidently, John Travolta tried to revive his son for 20 minutes until EMT arrived. His last words to his son are reported to being "I'm sorry." From one parent to another, I cannot imagine the loss.

In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.

4) Patrick Swaze battle - After watching him being interviewed by Barbara Walters, I was touched by his grace and courage in facing a disease and his imminent death. he hopes to live 5 years and statistics don't expect more than 2 and his doctors says only months. I was taken by how strong he seemed and was saddened to hear he was admitted to the hospital today for pneumonia.

People living deeply have no fear of death.

5) My in-laws - My mother-in-law is recovering from gallbladder surgery and is now scheduled for hip surgery. My father-in-law has been diagnosed with Prostrate cancer and failed a heart stress test. My thoughts and love go out to them.

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.

My thoughts and prayers go out to these families and those impacted by their loss or troubles.

There's no way to help those who are "Broken-Hearted"